Hidden Treasure

As Alexandra Palace prepares to restore and reopen its historic spaces a miraculous discovery, an archive hidden for decades, is revealing unknown stories and images from our past

Great Hall Stage (2014-09-29)Alexandra Palace

Restoring the Palace

Alexandra Palace is known as an iconic gig venue, for its Park and for popular events and exhibitions. It is currently undergoing a major restoration to reopen the most historic, but derelict areas of the building.

Early Cinema Projection Box (2014-09-08)Alexandra Palace

Work is underway restoring the Victorian Theatre, former BBC Television Studios and grand East Court. Preparations are offering us unique views on the spaces.

East Court Before Restoration (2014-09-08)Alexandra Palace

Walls are being demolished and spaces reopened to commence restoration and utilise long dormant areas.

Abandoned Bowling Green (2014-09-08)Alexandra Palace

At 7.5 acres and well over a century old Alexandra Palace has numerous spaces currently closed from public access.

Lockers in Bowling Green (2014-09-08)Alexandra Palace

When the last members left the indoor bowling green they walked out a closed the door behind them; leaving shoes in the lockers, soap at the sink and even the last scores on the score board.

Alexandra Palace Foundry (2014-09-08)Alexandra Palace

Underneath Alexandra Palace the extensive cellars show the rabbit warren of rooms that makes up such large building.

Bed in Prison Cell, Alexandra Palace (2014-09-08)Alexandra Palace

Historically significant areas, such as this cell for internees during the First World War, are known but closed for regular access.

Studio A Control Room Before Restoration (2014-09-08)Alexandra Palace

But as we move through the spaces, reopening long forgotten rooms and cupboards...

Alexandra Palace Derelict Space (2014)Alexandra Palace

...we are never sure exactly what could be found inside!

A Hidden Treasure (2016-11-01)Alexandra Palace

Children watching Punch and Judy Show (1950/1960)Alexandra Palace

We have only just started uncovering the stories this remarkable find can tell.

Punch and Judy Show (1950/1960)Alexandra Palace

The material is a joy to work on. With thousands of images:

Children want Fry's Chocolate (1922/1937)Alexandra Palace

From frantic activity...

Winter Night at the Boating Lake (1922/1937)Alexandra Palace

...to moments of calm beauty.

Woman with Clocks (1922/1937)Alexandra Palace

Oddball characters...

Alexandra Palace Ground Plan (c1875)Alexandra Palace

..to illuminating insights into the building.

Fashion Show (1922/1935)Alexandra Palace

We can discover the people from our past.

Centenary Balloons (1975)Alexandra Palace

Those who have lived.

Wedding Fashion Show (1922/1937)Alexandra Palace

And loved.

Boxing outside Alexandra Palace (1922/1937)Alexandra Palace

And fought!

Technical Exhibition 1967 (1967-03-13/1967-03-17)Alexandra Palace

As we restore the spaces and build towards opening in 2018 we will uncover and share more of the archive. So whether you're interested in cars...

Giant Cat (1975)Alexandra Palace

..or cats...

Volunteer Athletic Sports at Alexandra Park (1868-07-04) by Illustrated TimesOriginal Source: Hornsey Historical Society

...or a strong moustache, we look forward to exploring these treasures with you.

Credits: Story

Curator: James White

Scanner Operator: Anna Arca
Jo Mead
Maria Huybens
Maria Garcia
Jie-Han Chang
Keith Sagar
Claire Sagar
Sally Stevens
Julian Woodfield
David Godfrey

Deputy Chief Executive: Emma Dagnes
Regneration Manager: Kirsten Forrest

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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